Bloodstone is a variety of quartz that occurs in massive formations. The colour is green with flecks of red, although in smaller pieces of the mineral the red may not appear. It is also called heliotrope which refers to turning towards the sun, inferring that the reflection of the sun is blood-red. It was named in 1515. Bloodstone was said by the ancient scholar, Pliny, to have been used as a mirror for viewing an eclipse of the sun. The red spots in the legend represent the blood of Christ wounded on the cross. Bloodstone is said to strengthen and oxygenate the bloodstream, enhancing physical and mental vitality. It will strengthen the heart, spleen and bone marrow and aids in balancing iron deficiencies. It is a powerful physical healer and reduces emotional/mental stress. It also stimulates the revitalization of friendships, love and other relationships. It helps to demonstrate unselfishness and idealism, to improve one’s talents and abilities, to enhance creative efforts and to support the decision-making processes. It has also been used in the rectification of failing eyesight, lung congestion and rashes and has been helpful in the treatment of bladder and stomach problems, haemorrhoids, inflammation and childbirth. Bloodstone is one of the birthstones for March (with aquamarine), symbolising courage, and the zodiac gem for Aries (21 March to 19 April).